There was a time when Ryan Tannehill made Dolphins fans nervous when crunch time arrived. No one was sure whether Tannehill would show up and lead the team to victory, or if he would end up throwing a foolish, game-ending interception that would break the hearts of all Dolphins fans. In his first two years in the league, this back and forth pattern tugged at the heartstrings of Dolphins fans and left them unsure of whether or not Tannehill would work out for them.
To Tannehill's credit, he does have five game-winning drives in his career, four of which came last season. The first one this season came against the New York Jets, and that one led to a field goal that would turn out to be the final score of the game. Despite a couple of mistakes in the game that weren't necessarily his fault, Tannehill and the Dolphins did find a way to come out on top, and that's all that matters in the grand scheme of things.
"I think he’s got a very good command of what we’re doing out there. I thought he was very poised throughout the game, even though it wasn’t certainly the smoothest sailing offensively throughout the entire game." said head coach Joe Philbin of Tannehill's performance against the Jets. "But I thought he kept his poise. He knew exactly what was going on out there and we’ve had some good ones in his career."
Once again we find ourselves bringing up the improved pocket presence of Tannehill, and the offensive system playing to his strengths as a quarterback. All of these factors have done wonders for Tannehill's development, but more than anything is the fact that the team as a whole is beginning to come together on offense and defense.
"I feel like we can make the plays. Not only the offense and myself, but the defense really showed up in the fourth quarter and we were able to come from behind." said quarterback Ryan Tannehill. "Coach (Joe Philbin) pointed it out in the team meeting, we were complementing each other, not only did the offense make plays but the defense made plays, special teams had a few huge plays that really put us in a situation to win that game. As a team, I think our confidence grew by what we did last week.”
Considering the caliber of the team the Dolphins will be playing on Sunday, they are going to need every bit of confidence within them and translate it into production. The Baltimore Ravens are also playing for their playoff lives, and the game may very well come down to a fourth-quarter drive to end the game.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater